Dimensional Weighing- What Is A Dimensional Weight Scale?

Dimensional Weighing- What Is A Dimensional Weight Scale?

In the world of logistics, “dimensional weight” has become a buzzword synonymous with efficiency and cost-saving. But what does it mean, and more importantly, how can businesses and shippers leverage dimensional weight scales to optimize their operations? This comprehensive guide will delve into the nuts and bolts of dimensional weighing, demystify the dimensioning systems work, and explore best practices for freight and parcel shipping. Whether you’re a small business owner, a shipping manager, or just curious about the behind-the-scenes of package delivery, understanding dimensional weight is crucial in today’s fast-paced market.

What is Dimensional Weighing?

Dimensional weighing, or “dim weight,” is a pricing technique for commercial freight transport that considers a package’s volume in addition to its actual weight. This method encourages shippers to use space more efficiently, which in turn helps carriers maximize the capacity of their transport vehicles.

Understanding Dimensional Weight

Dimensional weight reflects the density of a package—the amount of space it occupies in relation to its actual weight. Carriers like USPS, FedEx, and UPS use the dimensional weight to determine shipping rates, ensuring that they are compensated for the space parcels occupy on trucks, planes, and distribution centers.

The Mechanics of Dimensioning Systems

Dimensioning systems are sophisticated tools that measure the length, width, and height of packages to calculate their dimensional weight. These systems can range from simple manual devices to advanced automated systems like the iDimension® series, which can accurately capture dimensions in seconds.

How to Calculate Dimensional Weight

Calculating dimensional weight involves multiplying a parcel’s length by width by height and dividing by a standard divisor, which can vary by carrier. This calculation helps determine if the dimensional weight or the actual weight will be used to price a shipment, with the greater of the two typically being the billed weight. Click here to calculate.

How Dimensioning Systems Work

Dimensioning systems work by using sensors and cameras to capture and calculate the size of a package quickly. This technology not only speeds up the process of determining shipping costs but also increases accuracy, reducing the chance of human error.

The Role of Carriers in Dimensional Weighing

Carriers are the driving force behind the adoption of dimensional weighing. By charging based on dim weight, carriers can incentivize shippers to pack goods more compactly, optimizing the space used in transport vehicles and potentially reducing shipping costs.

Freight and Pallet Dimensioning

Freight and pallet dimensioning is crucial for businesses that ship large items or bulk quantities. Dimensioning solutions like the iDimension® PWD Dimensioner and Scale system provide shippers with accurate dimensional and weight data for palletized shipments, which is essential for calculating freight charges.

When a Truck is Often Filled Due to Space Restrictions

A truck is often filled due to space restrictions much sooner than it reaches its weight capacity. This means that efficient packing and dimensioning can allow for more goods to be transported at once, leading to better utilization of space and potentially lower shipping costs.

The Consequences of Over-Using Packing Materials

Over-using packing materials can lead to increased dimensional weight and higher shipping rates. By focusing on packing efficiency, shippers can avoid unnecessary costs and waste, contributing to more sustainable shipping practices.

Dimensional Weighing Equipment and Technology

Dimensional weighing equipment has evolved to meet the needs of a diverse range of shippers. From the Rice Lake Weighing Systems to the iDimension® Plus, technology is focused on providing accurate measurements quickly to keep the shipping process moving smoothly.

Focused on Increasing Prices for Shippers

While it may seem that carriers are focused on increasing prices for shippers with dimensional weight pricing, the reality is that this method promotes efficiency and cost-effectiveness. By understanding and adapting to this pricing model, shippers can optimize their packaging and potentially reduce their overall shipping expenses.


Dimensional weighing is more than a mere shipping formality; it’s a strategic tool for cost containment and operational efficiency in the logistics sector. By marrying the physical bulk of items with their weight, this system ensures optimal use of cargo space, potentially lowering shipping costs and fostering sustainability. For shippers and carriers alike, mastering dimensional weight is a step towards future-proofing their operations against the rising tide of ecommerce demands. As technology advances, those who adapt to these changes with agility and foresight will likely reap the benefits of reduced overheads and enhanced competitiveness in the bustling marketplace of global trade. For the best fulfilment services, contact us here.

Related Posts